According to Colin Cowherd, if you like Aaron Rodgers, but not LeBron James for political reasons, or vice versa, you’re the problem.
Fresh off an in-person conversation with James last week, Cowherd complimented Jeff Benedict’s LeBron biography that was published earlier this year. After categorizing LeBron as “polarizing,” Cowherd went off on the hypocrites who call out the NBA star for not sticking to sports while celebrating Rodgers for speaking on social or political issues.
“So who’s the hypocrite…a liberal likes LeBron, and Aaron [Rodgers] turns them off. A conservative likes Aaron…doesn’t like LeBron.” pic.twitter.com/FgDko0wHTJ
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 17, 2023
“You know, Aaron Rodgers is political, conservatives love him. LeBron’s political, you don’t like him. So who’s the hypocrite? The audience is the hypocrite.” Cowherd said before noting the same criticism can be made of liberals. “A liberal likes LeBron, and Aaron turns them off. A conservative likes Aaron—push back on vaccines—doesn’t like LeBron. They’re both outspoken, they’re both willing to talk about politics, they’re both willing to put it out there.
“I tend to be a bigger fan of LeBron than Aaron because I think LeBron’s an elevator of others, I think Aaron’s just brilliantly talented,” Cowherd continued. “But if you look at it, they’re both of the same basic belief which is, ‘I am more than an athlete and I deserve an opinion.’ I see all the hypocrites out there. You want LeBron to not have opinions, but you love Aaron cause he takes a shot at the vaccines. You can’t tell me you love Aaron and you hate LeBron because of their stances, they’re both outspoken professional athletes.”
LeBron and Rodgers are outspoken, but they’re not overly political. They’ve both supported presidential candidates, which is technically political, but they don’t speak much about actual policy. LeBron addresses social issues, Rodgers lied about the vaccine, and both garner their fair share of loud detractors. Rodgers has been slammed by the left, but celebrated by the right for criticizing President Joe Biden and making his stance on the COVID vaccine known, despite the quarterback actually begrudging some of that support. Republicans, meanwhile, led by Donald Trump, love to lash out at LeBron for his social initiatives.
Cowherd’s gripe, however, is the nature of politics, where both sides of the spectrum laud those who share their own beliefs and largely refuse to respectfully disagree with the opposition. Conservatives cried “Shut up and dribble” to LeBron while urging leagues to keep politics out of sports. But when the opportunity to discuss Colin Kaepernick or transgender athletes arises, conservatives eagerly run to the very intersection of sports and politics that they love to hate.